Our Mission & Vision
Little Free Library is a nonprofit organization based in St. Paul, Minnesota. Our mission is to be a catalyst for building community, inspiring readers, and expanding book access for all through a global network of volunteer-led Little Free Library book-exchange boxes.
Our vision is a Little Free Library in every community and a book for every reader. We believe all people are empowered when the opportunity to discover a personally relevant book to read is not limited by time, space, or privilege.
How do we achieve our mission and vision?
- Providing 24/7 book access.
Little Free Library book-sharing boxes are open seven days a week, 24 hours a day and are freely accessible to all, removing barriers to book access.
- Fostering new Little Free Libraries.
Little Free Library (LFL) equips, educates, and guides volunteer stewards to establish Little Free Libraries in their communities.
- Granting Little Free Libraries to high-need areas.
Through our programs, LFL grants no-cost Little Free Libraries full of books to underserved urban, suburban, rural, and Indigenous communities.
- Championing diverse books.
Through our Read in Color program, LFL makes books available representing BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and other diverse voices to promote understanding, empathy, and inclusion.
- Working with key community partners.
LFL collaborates with schools, public libraries, civic organizations, businesses, and other groups to bring Little Free Libraries to their communities.
Little Free Library’s goals and strategies are shaped by a dedicated staff and an engaged board of directors. Together, our work is guided by these core values:
By providing greater, more equitable book access in neighborhoods worldwide, we work to strengthen communities and influence literacy outcomes.
We embrace working with Little Free Library volunteer stewards, as well as local and national partners, to build community and improve book access.
We are dedicated to furthering diversity, equity, and inclusion through the programs we run, the books we share, and the community we serve, as well as in the internal operations of our nonprofit.
We value all people and communities, and we respect their wisdom in using Little Free Libraries in a meaningful, individualistic way suited to their culture and locality.
We are committed to integrity and accountability in how we manage our assets, and we are proud to have earned Platinum GuideStar status.
Why Does Book Access Matter?
We are facing a growing literacy crisis. Today in the United States, more than 30 million adults cannot read or write above a third-grade level. Studies have repeatedly shown that books in the hands of children have a meaningful impact on improving literacy. The more books in or near the home, the more likely a child will learn and love to read. But two out of three children living in poverty have no books to call their own.
Little Free Library book-sharing boxes play an essential role by providing 24/7 access to books (and encouraging a love of reading!) in areas where books are scarce. At the Little Free Library nonprofit, we’re working to fill book deserts and grant libraries to underserved communities through our Impact Library Program and other initiatives.
Through Little Free Library book exchanges, millions of books are exchanged each year, profoundly increasing access to books for readers of all ages and backgrounds.
72% of volunteer stewards have met more neighbors because of their Little Free Library
On average, one book is shared in a Little Free Library every day!
92% of people say their neighborhood feels like a friendlier place because of a Little Free Library
Awards & Milestones
If you’re a member of the press, please visit News & Events to access our media kit, annual reports, newsletters, and more.
Little Free Library was honored to receive the 2020 World Literacy Award from the World Literacy Foundation. We are a Top-Rated Nonprofit by the Great Nonprofits organization and received Guidestar’s Platinum Seal of Transparency.
Little Free Library is a recipient of the Library of Congress Literacy Award, the National Book Foundation’s Innovations in Reading Prize, Library Journal’s Movers and Shakers Award, the Women’s National Book Association’s Second Century Prize, and the Force for Positive Change Award. Discover more of our milestones and awards.
Looking for additional info? Meet the Little Free Library staff and learn how Little Free Library got started.